Roger Wattenhofer (ETH Zürich) – Bitcoin, Blockchain & Beyond

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I will start with a short introduction to the Bitcoin system, explaining some of the basics such as transactions and the blockchain. Then, I will discuss some interesting technical aspects in more detail, regarding the stability, security, and scalability of Bitcoin. In particular, I will discuss Bitcoin's eventual consistency, and the related problem of double spending. I will shed some light into our findings regarding the bankruptcy of MtGox, previously the dominant Bitcoin exchange service. I will then present duplex micropayment channels as an example for smart contracts.

Apart from scalability, these channels also guarantee end-to-end security and instant transfers, laying the foundation of a network of payment service providers. Finally, I would like to discuss some economic aspects of cryptocurrencies or the blockchain.